As a rule of thumb, a dog’s nails should be trimmed when they touch the ground. For leisurely living dogs, that might mean weekly trimming, while urban dogs who walk rough city sidewalks might never need their nails cut at all. Take your dog’s toe and hold it firmly, but gently. Lavishing her with calm praise and tasty little nibbles—and holding your trimmer so that you’re cutting the nail from top to bottom, not side to side—insert a very small length of nail through the trimmer’s opening. Avoid nipping the quick, which is the pink area within each nail that contains nerves and blood vessels. Don’t trim at a blunt angle—try to maintain the existing curvature of the nail. Cut a little bit of nail with each pass until you can see the beginning of a circle—still nail-colored—appear on the cut surface. The circle indicates that you are nearing the quick, so it’s time to stop that nail and move on to the next. Some dogs show fearful or aggressive behavior when faced with nail trimming. Watch carefully for signs of distress such as panting, drooling, trembling, whining, freezing, cowering, tail-tucking, growling, snarling or snapping. Even with the most patient and gradual of introductions, there are dogs who seem unable to get over their terror. If your dog falls into this category, do not force him to submit. See if his veterinarian or a professional groomer has better luck getting the job done.